Otters win home tourney, Vikings finish strongPublished 10:45am Monday, September 30, 2013
With some of the best talent in Section 8AA, the hosting Fergus Falls volleyball team claimed the Blocktober Fest tournament held at the Kennedy Secondary School Gold Gym Saturday.
“It was a great competitive tournament,” Otter coach Renee Erickson said. “It’s nice to have this type of facility to host tournaments and to have the Otter swimming invite at the same time.”
The Otters opened up pool play against Park Rapids. Fergus was able to make quick work of the Panthers winning in two sets 25-13, 25-21. The home team would again sweep the opposition as Fergus finished 2-0 in pool play, defeating Crookston (25-10, 25-10).
Moving into Gold bracket play, the Otters faced the Bearcats of Kittson Central in the semi-final match. Fergus continued to breeze through its opponents as a two-set victory (25-15, 25-10) set the host into the championship game.
The Otters would take on section foe Hawley, a three-set winner over Detroit Lakes, in the title match. The Nuggets gave Fergus all it could handle as it fought hard to steal away the first set taking a 22-15 lead. After an injury to libero Devonie Smith, the Otters leaned on the shoulders of junior varsity player Brooke Johnson. Johnson did not fold under the pressure as she served 10 straight points to give the Otters a set one win.
“Brooke showed a lot of poise coming into that situation,” Erickson said.
In the second set, Smith returned and so did Fergus’ dominant play as it took the last set 25-17 to claim the tournament title.
“For eight games, we had great numbers and stats. It was a great day of volleyball, not only for us, but for all the teams that participated,” Erickson said.
Fergus Falls’ Anna Monke led the team in attacks with 27 kills in the tournament and added seven and a half blocks. Teammate Brianna Rasmusson added 22 kills, while Laura Gaustad chipped in 19 of her own.
The Otters were also strong from the service line. Kate Groesbeck, Smith and Gaustad each recorded six aces, while Rasmusson and Jordan Harworth had five and four ace serves, respectively.
The Pelican Rapids Vikings also competed in the tournament as they fell to Kittson Central (25-17, 25-21) and Pequot Lakes (25-15, 25-23) in pool play.
The Vikings would finish as runner-up in the Maroon Bracket defeating Crookston in three-sets (25-16, 24-26, 15-6) and falling to bracket champ Fosston (27-25, 25-22).
The 12 team tournament saw fierce competition from all involved. In its third year in existence, the Otters have yet to lose its home tournament.
The Otters will be back in regular season action 7 p.m. Tuesday as it hosts Willmar, while the Vikings will travel to Barnesville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.